I recently watched two Netflix movies;
Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator
FYRE- The greatest party that never happened.
Bikram (77) is the egomaniacal founder of hot yoga. This guy amassed a fortune estimated at 75 million dollars sitting in a comfy, elevated, overstuffed chair with a personalized AC blowing on his neck barking out orders to up to 500 students (paying $11,000 each) in crowded classes with the heater on full blast..
Oh and yeah, Bikram (who is on the run in Mexico) was accused of raping a few “favorite” students.
Billy McFarland (29) is (was) a young “entrepreneur” who tried (in vain-with no prior experience) to organize a Coachella type event in the Bahamas and wound up in jail for fraud. The movie tracks the development of this $26 million failure from its inception through its glamorous promotion to the moment when legions of ticket holders and “influencers” arrive on an island to find nothing but rain soaked FEMA tents left over from the last hurricane and a line of stinky port-o-potties.
Watching both of these presentations back to back it is hard to miss the one common denominator:
People who ignore their gut instincts.
Whether it’s the guy being mercilessly fat-shamed in yoga class, the student who is called to “massage” her guru’s feet at 2am or the social media influencer who pays thousands of dollars for (non-existent) accommodations with no reviews, no photos and no address..it is shocking to see how many people ignore their own internal alarms because they want something to be true so badly.
The victims in both these films were often so deeply invested in a dream that no amount of concerning reality bites could wake them. Importantly, they were also surrounded by others living in the same, often ego-driven, dream-state.
I recommend watching both of these documentaries.. if for no other reason than to collect all the red flags people ignored and to save them incase you need reminding one day.